DAYTON —After four or more years of intense study and specialized training, 100 medical students in the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine class of 2016 received their M.D. degrees during the school’s commencement ceremony at the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center on Friday, May 27.
In addition to the conferring of degrees, the event included a “hooding ceremony” in which graduates received traditional regalia denoting their status and profession. They also took a professional oath to mark the start of their medical careers and signed a registry to commemorate their first use of the initials M.D. following their names.
In July, the graduates will begin prestigious residencies and receive advanced training in the medical specialties of their choice. The new physicians will enter outstanding residency training programs in Dayton, throughout Ohio and nationwide, including Case Western/University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Stanford University Programs, University of Michigan Hospitals, University of Southern California, Wake Forest University and the Boonshoft School of Medicine. (See medicine.wright.edu/match.)
Almost half (47 percent) of the Wright State graduates will remain in Ohio during residency, and 24 percent will remain in Southwest Ohio. More than half (52.1 percent) will enter a primary care field (family medicine, internal medicine or pediatrics).
Christopher Lewis, M.D., chief educator and production manager for Doctors in Training, an online education company that offers study guides and board review courses for medical students, delivered the commencement address.
Each year the graduating class presents an Appreciation Award to recognize an individual or organization that has made a significant contribution to the Boonshoft School of Medicine. The class of 2016 honored Evangeline C. Andarsio, M.D., who graduated from the medical school in 1984 and is double boarded in family practice and obstetrics and gynecology. A clinical associate professor at the medical school, she was in private practice for more than 25 years as an obstetrician-gynecologist until retiring in January 2016. She also is the assistant director of the Remen Institute for the Study of Health and Illness (RISHI) at Wright State and director of its National Healer’s Art Program. The Healer’s Art course is taught annually in more than 90 medical schools in the United States and abroad.
Andarsio dedicates her extra time to developing spiritual connections in the medical profession and the doctor-patient relationship. She has passion not only for being of service to her patients but also for serving other physicians and health care professionals. In 2009, she initiated the Annual Medicine-Spirituality Conference sponsored by the Boonshoft School of Medicine, Premier Health, Hospice of Dayton and others.
Margaret M. Dunn, M.D., M.B.A., dean of the medical school, presented the Dean’s Award to graduating student Matthew T. Scott, for demonstrating a commitment to academic excellence, embodying empathy and compassion toward others, exemplifying personal integrity and professionalism and earning the respect and trust of classmates and faculty.
The medical school presented several other awards.
The Teaching Excellence Award was presented to Karen Kirkham, M.D., associate professor, internal medicine, who was selected by the class of 2016 as the faculty member displaying outstanding professional skill and pride in discharging her instructional duties.
The Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award was presented by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation to graduate Cara M. Wolters and to faculty member Erica Taylor, M.D., assistant professor, pediatrics, for consistently demonstrating compassion and empathy in the delivery of care to patients.
The American Medical Women’s Association Glasgow-Rubin Citation for Academic Achievement was given to Nicole C. Craker, Thao-Vi D. Dao and Katherine A. Helmuth, who graduated in the top 10 percent of the class.
The Glenn C. Hamilton, M.D., Excellence in Emergency Medicine Award was given to Nicholas K. Antoon, recognizing interest and accomplishment in emergency medicine.
The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Award was given to Matthew T. Scott, the graduate who demonstrated outstanding proficiency in emergency medicine.
The Walbroehl Award for Family Medicine was given to Matthew J. Knapke, for excellence in family medicine.
The Geriatric Medicine Award, sponsored by the Ohio Department of Aging, was given to Benjamin P. Buettner and Sarah M. Weiskittel, for excellence in the study of geriatrics.
The Department of Internal Medicine Outstanding Senior Student Award was presented to Benjamin P. Buettner.
The Homer Cassel, M.D., Award was presented by the Dayton Society of Internal Medicine in honor of the late Dr. Homer D. Cassel, to Brian G. Cothern, for outstanding scholarship and commitment to the specialty of internal medicine.
The Department of Pediatrics Award was given to Katherine A. Helmuth, for commitment to a career in pediatrics and outstanding performance in pediatrics during the clinical years.
The Department of Psychiatry Outstanding Senior Student Award was presented to Jasmin C. Scott-Hawkins.
The Nicholas J. Thompson Award was given to Rachel E. Warwar, for commitment to a career in obstetrics/gynecology and outstanding performance in obstetrics/gynecology during the clinical years.
The Dan W. Elliott, M.D., Award was presented to Nicole C. Craker, for commitment to a career in surgery and outstanding performance in surgery during the clinical years.
The Reach Out of Montgomery County Student Volunteer Appreciation Award was given to Katherine A. Helmuth, Kevin J. Kawalec and Wayne Tse.
The Global Service Award was presented to Lauren A. Welch, for having a history of volunteering and rotating in a medically underserved area internationally.
The Merck Manual Awards (Merck Company) were presented to Nicole C. Craker, Spencer D. Hill and Matthew T. Scott, for exemplifying scholastic achievement in medical studies.
The 2016 Excellence in Public Health Award was given to Jasmin C. Scott-Hawkins.
The John Worthman, M.D., Award was presented to Eric M. Thuney, for entering into the Wright State University Family Medicine Residency.